Yesterday (June 30), Kanye West dropped a bit of a surprise: a new rap song that once again embraced the abrasive edge of his 2010s output. And today (July 1), he’s kept that momentum rolling thanks to a featured appearance on a clubby new track from Ty Dolla $ign that wouldn’t have sounded all the way out of place on 2016’s The Life of Pablo. It’s called “Ego Death,” and it also finds FKA Twigs, Skrillex, and Serpentwithfeet giving life to the song as well.
On his verse, West addresses the Super Bowl halftime show, the Grammys, the value of recognition of achievements against inner worth, and more. It follows Ty’s exploration of the title theme: “Ego death is where you find happiness.”
There’s a lot packed into the four minute of “Ego Death,” including a Queen Latifah sample, a breezy interlude anchored by the lilting vocals of Serpentwithfeet, and a gorgeously spacey outro built around FKA Twigs. West, too, ends his verse with a punch:
All these admirations, likes, and false validations
Feed into our ego, talk-for-something negro
One in four get locked up, your girlfriend get knocked up
Plan B was they Plan A to lower the count of our families
To lower the count on our damn votes
“Every time me and ‘Ye get together, I feel like we just make something great,” Ty told Beats 1 Radio about the collaboration. The pair have previously teamed up for “Real Friends,” “Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2),” and “Everything We Need.”
“I was watching Instagram, and there was some video of ‘Ye walking through Chicago. Then he was like, ‘Hold up. There’s a train going by.’ I thought that was so hard, just seeing him just walking through Chicago by himself,’ Ty continued. “So I sampled that part, and then I went out to Chicago to work on Yandhi with him. Then I played him the record, and he went crazy. Everybody in the room ran out, like, ‘Oh, shit.’ So he came back. He grabbed the little performance mic, and he started beatboxing and just freestyling and shit.”
Listen to the end result on the searing “Ego Death” above.